Twenty-nine years ago, the Khojaly genocide was committed, and Khojaly city was occupied by the Armenian armed forces, with the help of the post-Soviet army's 366th Motor Rifle Regiment.
According to Report, today, Azerbaijan marks the next anniversary of the bloody tragedy.
On the night of February 25 to 26, 1992, Armenian forces, with the help of former Soviet 366th Motor Rifle Regiment, invaded the Khojaly village, which was under blockade since October 1991. All roads leading to the city were blocked, and the only available transport was via helicopter. Continuous gunfire began on the evening of February 25, 1992. When 2,500 civilians remaining in the village left their territory with the hope to reach Aghdam, Armenians started to shot at people.
As a result of this tragedy, 613 Khojaly civilians were killed, including 63 children, 106 women, and 70 elderly people. Eight families were annihilated, 130 children lost one of their parents, and another 25 lost both of them. 76 out of 487 people wounded by an enemy bullet were children. 1,275 Khojaly residents were taken prisoner, and 150 went missing.
On the initiative of Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev, in February 1994, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave a legal and political assessment of this crime, issuing a resolution. The document describes the causes of the tragedy and its perpetrators.
A monument to the victims of the Khojaly genocide was erected in the Khatai district of Baku city.
Continuing the successful political path paved by the nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has always underlined that the only possible solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be within the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan, and has stated the necessity for the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and prosecution of those who committed the act of genocide.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is systematically and consistently working to bring the facts of the Khojaly genocide to the world. With the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's support and organization, a series of events, exhibitions, and memorial events are held in several countries around the world within the framework of this project.
The "Justice for Khojaly" international campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, General Coordinator of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, is one of the purposeful measures convey the correct information about the Khojaly genocide to the world and achieve the international recognition of this tragedy as an act of genocide against the people of Azerbaijan. Thus, relevant decisions have been made on this genocide act in several countries. It is no coincidence that parliamentarians of 51 countries adopted the respective resolution on recognition of the Khojaly tragedy as an international genocide at the 7th session of the Parliamentary Union of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Palembang, Indonesia in January 2012.
The "Justice for Khojaly" international information campaign is being successfully implemented in dozens of countries and aims to recognize the tragedy at the moral and political level. At present, the parliaments of Pakistan, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and others have recognized the Khojaly tragedy as genocide and criminal act against Azerbaijan. Besides, more than 20 state legislatures of the United States recognized the Khojaly genocide.
President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on February 13, 2014, on the Justice for Khojaly campaign, given its importance.
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Khojaly were temporarily placed in 50 cities and Azerbaijani regions.
On September 27, 2020, the glorious Azerbaijani Army, under the leadership of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, launched counteroffensive to liberate the lands occupied by the Armenian armed forces for almost 30 years. During the 44-day fighting, five cities, four settlements, and 286 villages were liberated.
The Jabrayil city and 90 villages of the region, Fuzuli city and 53 villages, Zangilan city, Minjivan, Agband, Bartaz settlements and 52 villages of the area, Hadrut settlement and 35 villages of Khojavend, three villages of Tartar, Gubadli city and 41 villages, nine villages of Khojaly, Shusha city, three villages of Lachin region, as well as several strategic heights in the direction of Aghdara and Murovdagh, and Bartaz, Sigirt, Shukurataz heights in Zangilan and five more unnamed heights were freed from occupation.
On November 10, the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, and the President of Russia signed an agreement on a complete cessation of hostilities in the conflict zone. According to the statement, Aghdam was peacefully returned to Azerbaijan on November 20, 2020, Kalbajar on November 25, 2020, and Lachin on December 1, 2020. Thus, Azerbaijan's territorial integrity has been ensured, and the Karabakh conflict has been left behind. Restoration and reconstruction are underway in the liberated areas. Upon completion of all work, IDPs will be able to return to their native lands and homes.